If there's one thing you should avoid if you have a spare hour at the weekend, it's looking at spending above £500 on Bradford Council's website. It will frustrate you, and make you ask the question, "How do they manage to spend so much?" I'll take taxi services and transport passenger services as an example.
While I appreciate the council has to provide certain services - like taking the elderly to day centres, and helping more disadvantaged people than me get to school and training centres - why is the monthly spend almost £650K? While some of this spending will be a statutory requirement, why is the figure so high?
When you look at the information begrudgingly provided, you will notice there are over twenty separate taxi and transport companies involved. It looks like almost every taxi firm in the city has a contract. Why are there so many? Who checks the invoices? Are we getting value for money? It must be a full-time job procuring and monitoring the service of this number of providers, and the logistics must be a nightmare!
If the £650K a month spend is annualised, the figure comes out at £8 million. No wonder I can never get a taxi when I want one. They are too busy working for the council
At a time when Bradford Council is cutting services - such as libraries - how closely has it looked at this spending? Indeed, why hasn't it looked at stopping the taxpayer funding of unions, which currently costs Bradford council taxpayers almost £300K a year? Why hasn't it looked at reducing the pay and the number of senior managers? The list goes on.
Perhaps I should now go and do something constructive like getting a Hackney Carriage licence, because I feel like saying, 'I'm a Bradford council taxpayer. Get me out of here!'